DE RUEHWN #0337 0531817
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221817Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
TO RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1949
UNCLAS BRIDGETOWN 000337
DEPT FOR WHA/CAR
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: EAIR AC XL SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE GRANTED TO OMAR GONZALEZ FOR TRAVEL TO ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
REF: USDA FAS 676372
1. Embassy Bridgetown welcomes and grants clearance to Omar Gonzalez, Deputy Director in the Caribbean Basin Agricultural Trade Office (CBATO), to travel to Antigua and Barbuda February 27 - March 1, 2006. Mr. Gonzalez will be conducting trade servicing with importers and retailers of food products and recruiting buyers to attend select food shows in the U.S. Mr. Gonzalez will be accompanied by Mrs. Pamela Wells Russell, a private contractor, and Caribbean Representative for the following state regional trade groups, Mid-America International Agri-Trade Council and Food Export USA Northeast.
2. Per reftel, Embassy understands assistance is not requested.
3. Embassy Bridgetown requests an outbrief be provided to the Political-Economic Section relating to activities while in the region within 10 working days of completion of travel. Please provide the outbrief by telephone, 246/436-4950 X2228, or by fax at 246/431-0384.
4. Entry requirements: Mission policy is that all USG travelers to the region be in possession of a valid passport. Visas are not required for short visits. There is a departure tax of 50 xcd (Eastern Caribbean) dollars or 19 U.S. dollars.
5. The exchange rate in Antigua and Barbuda is 2.70 xcd (Eastern Caribbean) dollars for one U.S. dollar. U.S. currency, travelers' checks, and credit cards are routinely and widely accepted.
6. The following is general information pertaining to security and health considerations throughout the Eastern Caribbean:
In the Eastern Caribbean, foot travel outside of well-established tourist areas is not generally recommended, especially at night. Be vigilant when using public telephones or ATM machines near roadsides or quiet areas. As in many U.S. metropolitan areas, wearing expensive jewelry, carrying expensive objects, or carrying large amounts of cash should be avoided. Visitors should also safeguard valuables while at the beach. While hotels are generally safe, many visitors have experienced loss of unattended items. Hotel burglaries are not uncommon and all valuables should be locked in room safes if possible.
Throughout the Eastern Caribbean, the most likely threat to a visitor's health is sunburn. It takes several weeks to become accustomed to the heat and humidity. Prolonged exposure to the sun, without protection, causes sunburn and may ultimately result in sun-damaged skin or even skin cancer. Sunscreens should be used for protection. In Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines the major health threat is dengue fever, transmitted by mosquito. Dengue cases are most often seen in the summer months. Persons should therefore protect themselves with insect repellent. There is a growing number of HIV/AIDS cases reported. The Eastern Caribbean enjoys clean and safe drinking water. Only routine boosters for immunizations (i.e., tetanus, diphtheria, and oral polio vaccine) are required when traveling to this region. Barbados has the best medical facilities of all the islands in the region and most of the medical specialties have practitioners here. KRAMER